Construction report: DOT working on Fairbanks Airport improvement project

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:03 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) is working at the Fairbanks International Airport to replace an aging runway. Crews are repaving the East Ramp and making other upgrades to the airport. The East Ramp is the general aviation runway.

DOT Northern Region Information Officer Caitlin Frye said the old pavement was no longer practical to repair. “[We’re] putting some fresh pavement down because the old pavement was at the end of its useful life so it was taking a lot to continue to maintain it. It was just time to get some fresh pavement on there.”

Crews also shortened the runway, according to Frye. “It’s just bigger than it needed to be, and so by shortening it, it’s less pavement to maintain and it’s suitable to the planes that are using it.”

The DOT is also working on upgrading the taxiway between the East Ramp and the air carrier runway. Frye said they are adding a fence and security gate to separate the two runways and prevent public access. They are also adding a pull-out to allow for two-way traffic between the runways.

Frye added that during the construction the East Ramp Was closed, but planes were still able to take off from the airport by using the ski strip, float pond or air carrier runway.

She said one of the biggest challenges was communication. “One of the challenges was communicating with pilots and people that use this runway, and just making sure that they know were to go, where the safe places [are], and what runways they can use.”

DOT also replaced the lights on the East Ramp with LEDs.

Frye said they finished repaving over the weekend and should have the East Ramp opened by mid-July. After that, they’ll begin work on the taxiway.

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